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November 10, 2013

Roger Staubach on former players' brain health: I don't think they had all the information back then

Roger Staubach puts two and two together and figures football has to have played a part in Tony Dorsett being diagnosed with CTE. But the Hall of Famer doesn't blame the former doctors and coaches involved in the game back then.

"There’s got to be some relationship to getting your head batted around," Staubach said Sunday. "I think the game is a tough game. You know what you’re getting into. I don’t think they intentionally tried to deceive us. I don’t think they had all the information back then. I don’t know that. Knock on wood hope that I…."

Dorsett, who played with Staubach, revealed last week he was diagnosed with signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative condition linked to depression and dementia.

"I was with Tony. We were at an event together. It was probably a year ago, and he was telling me he was having some issues with confusion at times, but I didn’t know how serious it was," said Staubach, who served four years in the Navy and attended Sunday night's game as a representative of the USAA's Salute to Service campaign. "I guess he went to brain health and started doing some studies over there. It’s hopefully (in) such an early stage he will hang in there for a while, and hopefully they will be able to do something about concussions. Some of the medicine they say slows it down, but I think the best thing is exercise and staying busy, and I feel bad about Tony. Tony's young. He's 59."

Staubach said he was "knocked out" six times in his 11-year career with the Cowboys.

"Yeah you always worry," Staubach said. "The studies they’re doing now, there’s still uncertainty as far as the really affects on concussions. I think that they know there is some affects that lead in now they’re saying dementia, Parkinson, ALS and things. I think there are other doctors that are still saying there are a lot more studies to be done to truly see how concussions affect your health."

-- Charean Williams 



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